Aging clients who have cognitive/memory impairment present a challenge to therapists who are often at a loss as to how to provide “appropriate” intervention. Clinicians often only associate age related cognitive/memory deficits with Alzheimer’s. Therapy often involves not only dealing with the client but also with their family, who is struggling to understand the cognitive/behavioral changes they are seeing in their loved one. There is a huge spectrum of age related cognitive/memory deficits that can dramatically impact ADL’s/IADL’s and these may often go unrecognized or not be addressed clinically. This evidence based course is designed to assist the clinician in developing a better understanding of cognitive/memory impairments associated with the aging process. In addition, clinicians will learn how to prioritize treatment sessions to focus on functional deficits caused by the cognitive/behavioral changes. You will learn about the aging process related to normal versus abnormal cognitive/memory deficits, and the factors that both contribute to and prevent cognitive/memory decline. Developing an understanding of what is considered “normal memory loss” and the difference between cognitive/memory impairment versus Alzheimer’s is crucial to being to provide effective therapy intervention. Content will cover the spectrum of age related cognitive/memory decline from normal memory loss to Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) to end stage Alzheimer’s and the behavioral characteristics of each. Therapy intervention strategies will also be discussed. Emphasis will be on MCI through moderate Alzheimer’s and the role of executive functions related to impairment. The most up to date information on brain plasticity, cognitive reserve and intervention strategies will be presented and the course includes extensive resource information. Teaching strategies will include active class participation/engagement and group breakout activities. The course is designed to provide clinicians with assessment/intervention strategies that can immediately be implemented and is applicable to the following clinical settings: Acute; IPR; SNF; HH and outpatient.
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